15 years of reviews!

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15 years of reviews!

Postby VideoGameCritic » June 20th, 2014, 8:55 pm

June 18 marked the 15th year anniversary (!) of me posting video game reviews on these here Internets!  I'm going with this date because it's the earliest I've seen any of my reviews dated.

It started off in 1999 as Dave's Video Game Reviews but I needed a better name/domain.  I eventually settled on thevideogamecritic.com.  At first I thought the name was a little cynical, but it's grown to fit me (or the other way around).  My buddy Steve S. provided me with some nifty graphics that really set the tone for the look-and-feel of the site.  

I really loved reading capsule reviews of classic games on sites like Tomorrow's Heroes and wanted to emulate that style.  I tried to keep them concise, and injected humor whenever I could.  As my collection grew (classic games were dirt cheap at the time) so did the number of systems I wrote reviews for.

I had always been really annoyed with the way certain sites and magazines tended to disrespect old games and systems.  Having experienced ALL the generations, I recognized that old games don't "go bad" just because there's a newer, shiny system with better graphics.  Good gameplay is timeless and I wanted to convey that. 

My early reviews were pretty rough, but at least I made sure they did not contain profanity.  I opted to use [expletive] to indicate strong language, because that's what newspapers do.  Now I guess it's one of my trademarks.  Later I would come to learn that some people consider "hell" and "damn" to be profanity too.  Oh well.  Sorry about that.

In the early 2000's I lost that domain due to unfortunate circumstances, but years later a kind soul offered me the videogamecritic.com domain for face value.  Perhaps he noticed how much work I was putting into the site and took pity on me.

The site was pretty bland under Mark Jewell started sending me alternate banners, which I began to rotate.  Mark had a gift for blending in classic and modern game graphics, perfectly reflecting the theme of the site.  Eventually I would match up banners with the seasons, because as you all know, I am a seasonal gamer.

Around 2010 I had an extremely distressing situation with someone plagiarizing my reviews on another site.  It's not like I making a lot of money off of the site; at least let me take credit for my own work!  Well, this darkest moment turned into one of triumph, as legions (seemingly) of readers (and perhaps others) managed to track down this guy and force him to remove the plagiarized material.  In fact, he literally begged me to call off the dogs.  I could not get over the response, and I am still extremely grateful.  It gave me renewed faith in the Internet (and mankind in general).  Thanks for looking out for me guys!

About two years ago Mark Jewell and Terry Herman helped me give the site a much-needed make-over.  I know a lot of long-time readers like the old "frames" look, but it was time.  I think the new look manages to preserves the old-school look but presents the material in a clean, modern way.  I'm really pleased with it, and continue to tweak and polish it as necessary.  Thank you, Mark and Terry.

Around the same time as the make-over, I added a mobile version of the site which featured button navigation and bigger text.  Not sure how often this is being used, but the general feedback has been very positive.

The discussion boards have become very popular over the years, and I feel extremely indebted to the moderators who keep things running so smoothly.  The quality of the posts are consistently high compared to often forums I've visited.  And the fact I don't have to worry about it lets me focus on the reviews.  Thank you, moderators.

Today the site has over 4200+ reviews covering 47 systems (counting portables).  It's not easy to write new reviews that don't sound just like the old ones.  The thesaurus has become my best friend as I continually try to come up with new words and phrases.  Keeping the reviews short is another never-ending struggle.

Another thing my reviews are known for?  Typos!  It's not a VGC review without an obvious typo or two.  Thanks to readers like Mike (Gleebergloben) who keep me posted on these and save me a lot of embarrassment.  

Finally I want to thank all the people who come to this site and help spread the word about it.  You might not get the most comprehensive reviews about the latest games here, but you will get short reviews that convey my honest opinion.  I'm not getting paid for this, so there's no reason for me to give you anything else.  I just love video games!

Dave the VGC

Posts: 401
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

15 years of reviews!

Postby Tron1 » June 20th, 2014, 10:11 pm

Congrats Critic on 15 years. Thanks for the reviews.

Posts: 285
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

15 years of reviews!

Postby Steve1 » June 20th, 2014, 11:18 pm

Congratulations on 15 years!

Posts: 329
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

15 years of reviews!

Postby LoganRuckman1 » June 20th, 2014, 11:32 pm

Congratulations Dave! This is awesome! I've been a fan of your site since 2008. This is easily one of my favorite websites of all time. The reviews are great, and the forums are some of the best I've ever posted in. Cheers, Dave! Here's to another 15 years. 

Posts: 687
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

15 years of reviews!

Postby gleebergloben1 » June 21st, 2014, 1:44 am

Congratulations Dave on 15 years! I started coming here in the early 2000's when I was in Tokyo on one of many frequent business trips; discovering this site was an epiphany. I was like "Here's someone who not only loves video games, but the classics like I do!" And your reviews have been extremely informative and very funny.

I know you think your early reviews were rough, but your two Swordquest reviews for the 2600 (written in 2001) are two of my favs because they're hysterical. And your Bioshock review for the 360 (written in 2007) was really tight, informative, and complex. Just a great review.

Finally, the frequent and long time posters here have really opened my eyes about the gaming world.

Again, many congrats!

Posts: 3892
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

15 years of reviews!

Postby Atarifever1 » June 21st, 2014, 6:23 am

Congratulations! Nice "history of" story there too! I've been reading for a little over a decade (and visiting the forums nearly as long).

It's one of the best sites on the internet and is one of the most comprehensive classic gaming resources ever made (probably the most comprehensive), and it's mainly just one guy. That's pretty amazing.

2 things:

Here is your site from the wayback machine from 2002 (the earliest I found)--

Second, I don't have an exact date, but June 18th 1999 is within a few days (might be the day) of when my wife gave me her phone number. It was on a day we were writing a final in high school, so that would have been right in that range. To put the time in perspective, we're married and have two kids. [smile]

Posts: 909
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

15 years of reviews!

Postby ptdebate1 » June 21st, 2014, 9:59 am

It always annoys me to hear game journalists discussing whether or not a retro game's graphics have "held up" over time. If the gameplay is great, then graphics are irrelevant. If anything, we should marvel at what programmers were able to produce under such constrained parameters as those presented by the Atari 2600 or the Sega Saturn, for example. Graphics should be evaluated alongside other games produced for the same system (as you do, Dave), not unfairly compared to today's most recent offerings.

Posts: 707
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

15 years of reviews!

Postby Greisha1 » June 21st, 2014, 10:08 am


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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

15 years of reviews!

Postby ActRaiser1 » June 21st, 2014, 10:26 am

Congrats, 15 years is a long time!  And thanks for all the reviews and providing such a great place to hang out and read up on videogames.

Much appreciated,

Posts: 1777
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

15 years of reviews!

Postby Rev1 » June 21st, 2014, 11:28 am

Congrats. Been coming to the site for 6-7 years, every day, and have always enjoyed your reviews and the fact that you always seem to be adding something new to the site. Great job.

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